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Letters to the Editor

Opportunism

August 20, 2011

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To the editor:

When trying to make sense of our governor’s actions, including the rejection of grants from the federal government that would have benefited our state, it makes sense only if we analyze his actions in terms of a man who (I believe) gave up the position of U.S. senator to become governor because it is a more direct and proven route to a bigger prize. It was the platform for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and even Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

This is his opportunity to prove his devotion to what Republicans stand for. Protect the wealthy and privileged and reduce their taxes. Remove and reduce as much as possible all social programs. Destroy liberal grass-roots movements and unions. Never let any legislation be heard that mentions raising the minimum wage or the idea of a living wage. Present yourself as a devotee to capitalism. Paint every liberal suggestion as a trip to socialism and un-American. Show those people who control the nomination process just how reliable you would be as a protector of Republican ideals in the Oval Office.

As far as the state of Kansas is concerned, he seems to care little except for its use in furthering his aims. I end with a quote from Adlai E. Stevenson: “To my Republican friends ... If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, I will stop telling the truth about them.”

Comments

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

"As far as the state of Kansas is concerned, he seems to care little except for its use in furthering his aims."

Change the "he" to "she," and the "his" to "her," and you've perfectly described Kathleen Sebelius, now ensconced in her beloved Washington, D.C.

ljwhirled 3 years, 4 months ago

Good Catch:

Sebelius: Masters of Public Administration (i.e. Competent) Kansas House - 1987 to 1995 Kansas Insurance Commissioner - 1995 to 2003 Kansas Governor - 2003 to 2009 Appointed HHS secretary - A position of absolute power.

Brownback: Juris Doctor(i.e. Bloodsucking Lawyer) Kansas Secretary of Agriculture - 1986 to 1990 White House Fellow - 1990 to 1991 (Left Kansas to "Serve" in Washington) Kansas Secretary of Agriculture 1991 to 1993 US House - 1994 to 1998 (Left Kansas Again) US Senate - 1998 to 2010 (Left Kansas Again) Presidential Candidate 2008 - (A position of humble service) Kansas Governor - 2010 to ??

Since 1986, Mr. Brownback has only lived in Kansas for 6 years. That is less than 25% of the time.

Just saying, cato_the_elder, you are wrong. Thanks for the Fox News reasoning, though, many of the readers of this form may pile on.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is a Kansan. Sebelius is a transplanted Ohioan, now living in D.C.

Kansas will never be her permanent place of residence, even after the Democrats lose in 2012. Trust me.

By the way, if you think that a Masters of Public Administration (training to be a government bloodsucker) is the intellectual equivalent of a J.D., you are abundantly naive.

ksbison 3 years, 4 months ago

Comparing résumés is interesting. Also interesting that you left out the part where Kathy was a lobbyist for the "bloodsucking lawyers." (And this is the person the president put in charge of studying tort reform.)

Also, those times you note when Brownback "left Kansas," when he was in Congress he was serving as an elected representative of the people of this state, and he came home almost every weekend!

Disagree with his policies all you want, but don't begrudge him for doing his job!

jayhawxrok 3 years, 4 months ago

All Brownback has ever cared about was endearing himself further to the Anti-American lunatics on the far right and lining himself up for a Senate run.

KS kicked ass as Insurance Commissioner - the right gave us Fletcher Bell (UGH) and she did just fine as governor and the right hates her for it, first because she's a woman and second because she's a democrat.

Brownback was a disgraceful lunatic in he House and he's taken the office of Governor to new lows. He is bad for Kansas and bad for America, no wonder the right loves him.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree with the spirit of your post, but a couple of factual corrections-- Brownback gave up a senate seat. Read this letter to the editor again if you want to know what office he's really after.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

"KS kicked ass as Insurance Commissioner - the right gave us Fletcher Bell (UGH) and she did just fine as governor and the right hates her for it, first because she's a woman and second because she's a democrat."

If she had stopped at Insurance Commissioner, she never would never have been able to realize her dream of returning to her beloved D.C., where she went to college. She was never anything but a transplanted Ohioan (her father was a Democrat governor there) on her way to bigger and better things.

If Hillary isn't nominated in 2012, I'm sure she'll be looking for Obama to dump Biden (which anyone with half a brain would tell him to do) and put her on his short list of VP candidates.

HillaryForPresident 3 years, 4 months ago

Hillary on the ticket would ensure a victory for Obama.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

As long as Hillary was going to be the Pres, that is.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't know about "ensure," but replacing Biden with Hillary would be a very good move for Bam. The best move for the Dems would be to dump Obama altogether and replace him with Hillary, but it's not clear whether they will listen to smart people who know that.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

No, I'm talking about your heroes on the left, pal. Take a course on remedial reading. It might actually allow you to read Tolkien instead of just seeing the Peter Jackson version.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

This from the moron who said "The notion that the Bush administration is responsible for the state of our economy when Obama took over is the biggest lie promulgated by the Hard Left in my lifetime."

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Jimo, you're not supposed to use words like "moron" on this forum.

What I said was true.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

It's a clinical term.

There is little dispute that the origins of the crisis predate Obama’s election. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the US had a $2 trillion budget surplus. Many believed that if the country merely continued on the path set by Bill Clinton, the national debt, then $5.7 trillion, would be eliminated by the end of the decade. Bush chose a different way. He cut taxes, reducing revenues by $1.8 trillion. He declared a general war on terror and waged two specific wars. Financed entirely by borrowing – a first in American history – the wars and related increases in defence spending added $1.5 trillion to the debt. The financial crisis and ensuing recession further reduced revenues. By the time he left office, Bush had squandered the surplus and nearly doubled the size of the debt, adding more to it than any president in US history.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

What? Flames of hell licking at your fake religiosity?

What......a.........fraud.

Or are you just still smarting from when I exposed you as a liar? I still get comments on that one.

The wages of sin, buddy -- they're a bitch. But when you spit on Jesus it's difficult to turn around and expect forgiveness. That warmth you feel ain't the weather!

BTW .

Still waiting on you to put up or shut up.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/aug/20/bad-luck-and-bad-faith-bad-combination/#c1723606

rtwngr 3 years, 4 months ago

Keep stoking the class warfare. Misguided individuals, such as yourself, always find it easy to point at those with more and say, "Look, they took it away from you. That's your money. We need government to step in and enforce this inequity of our society!"

The truth is these people with "more" than you are the ones that provide jobs in our society that fuels the economic engines of our economy. This obtuse notion that "rich fat cats" are not paying their fair share is ridiculous. With more businesses flourishing, more people are employed. With more people employed the tax base grows exponentially.

We have seen two years of Keynesian economics fail miserably. The time has come to throw this inexperienced, community organizing, socialist, bum out of the White House with our vote!

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

See Warren Buffet's comments.

He's paying a lower percentage than his secretary, and thinks he should be paying a rather higher one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

He's already pledged to give away nearly all of his wealth rather than pass it along to his kids.

I'd say that's leading by example (and your definition of "apologist" is rather weird.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

You conveniently neglect to mention the negative connotations that are inherent in the current usage of the term "apologist."

apologist |əˈpäləjist| noun a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial: an enthusiastic apologist for fascism in the 1920s.


"Why would he not lead by example if he believes in what he is saying?"

You're quibbling about his timing. That hardly makes him an "apologist" for anything.

tbaker 3 years, 4 months ago

Comparing Buffet to his secratary is just class warfare, aka, pointless. The real lesson from this situation is how well it illustrates the fact that the income tax needs to be done away with altogether.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

He's the one who made the comparison, not me.

And he's a very successful investor who's made a lot of money.

His opinion about the effects, or lack thereof, on investment of raising taxes, and what he thinks should happen in that regard are worth listening to, in my view.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

From the wingnut encyclopedia (turd edition, 2010): "Class Warfare is a term of art describing the moment when the lower classes object after their discovery that the upper classes have absconded with virtually the entirety of a nation's wealth."

Bob Forer 3 years, 4 months ago

"The truth is these people with "more" than you are the ones that provide jobs in our society that fuels the economic engines of our economy."

Nonsense. The real truth is that the folks who work for a living are the ones that provide rich folks with a method of augmenting their capital. It requires labor for its very existence. Labor, on the other hand, can survive without money. Work has an intrinsic value independent of the existence of capital.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 4 months ago

And where are the JOBS the rich are supposed to supply? That is a huge fallacy. No jobs come from the rich or we would have seen them already.

ljwhirled 3 years, 4 months ago

Great article that refutes this dumb argument: http://tinyurl.com/3wjmutm

I hope we can return to populism without violence and bloodshed.

An awesome book about what happens after a financial crisis:

This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Follies http://tinyurl.com/4x5o5tq

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

Starting in a big way with Ronald Reagon's presidency, class warfare has been waged by the upper classes against the middle and lower classes. And they are winning. To blame class warfare on the left is just ridiculous and those doing so are either willfully ignorant or just flat lying.

The little factoid that people like to keep tossing about that 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax (although they pay a disproportionate percentage of their income in other taxes)---those Americans own about 2 1/2 percent of the wealth in America.

I'm not saying that some of those who have low incomes haven't made bad choices, but it's hard to pull yourself up by your own boot straps when you've got no boots. And the wealthier among us would not have what they have if they didn't have other people working for them (seems obvious, but apparently not to some people). They didn't do it single-handedly.

Google "percentage of wealth in the US." You'll get about 51 million sites to choose from. Some of them should satisfy about anyone's desire for objectivity.

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I get it alright. Many of those in the bottom half of income/wealth have worked hard all their lives and still come up short. But that doesn't fit into the ideology of those who want to believe that those who haven't succeeded in becoming wealthy are just slackers who want to take from others.

Look at the facts for yourself, not filtered through your ideology.

jonas_opines 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think you have any room at all to accuse anybody else of tunnel vision. Sorry.

usnsnp 3 years, 4 months ago

Dont know about class warfare, but this idea that low or middle class are slackers is a bunch of bull. There are only so many openings at the higher levels, or is the idea to havel all managers and no workers. The problem is that a large number of people get into the upper area of a profession or management and they think they are the only ones that know how to do the job. Look at the carrier of many, either they started with a advantage family money or they were at the right place at the right time. Example you cant tell me that there are not hundred of thousands of people out there that could not do as good or better a job than the talking heads we have in the media world. You cant tell me that there are not a large number of people out there with buisness experience that could not have done a better job running Borders than the people that bankrupted it, bet they got payed plenty when they left.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey, they all could have become doctors and bond traders and the heirs of billionaires.. The Poors chose to be clerks, teachers, office assistants, and the children of similar type losers instead. It's their fault.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm very curious to know where all of the real "apologists", like BAA, "ApologiesMyLiege" (who I am certain is a banned former member that has managed to sneak back on) and cato (the so called "elder") fit in the economic scheme of things in terms of their personal wealth. They all seem to have "holier than thou" attitudes toward the lower (economic) half of Americans, believing that they have made "better choices" than teachers, trash haulers, nurses aides and convenience store clerks. if they are in business management, do they treat their own underlings in this manner? (If they do, I know a few people who have choice phrases for such bosses.) Having dealt with so called "upper management" types in the past, I can pretty well guarantee you that the vast bulk of them got there in ways that had nothing to do with real "merit". In fact, you can tell how a lot of them got there simply by the color of their noses. But having made it to the top of the heap, they now seem perfectly justified to crush those under them underneath their boot heel and crow that they "deserved" to be where they are. What a crock of BS.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

"always agrees to whatever task is assigned"

And have a good attitude, meaning don't question the boss, and be nice to him/her.

You think that's not "favoritism or brown-nosing"?

As well as a little exploitative of the boss, making somebody do whatever they tell them to do, whether it's reasonable or not, or in fact part of their job description?

Pick up my dry cleaning and get me some coffee on the way to work.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

It's also interesting that he didn't answer my primary question (as laid out in the first sentence of my post.

bad_dog 3 years, 4 months ago

Well BAA, given your descriptions above, it doesn't sound like you would have qualified for SSDI anyway. To qualify you (purportedly) must be unable to engage is substantial gainful employment in any occupation anywhere in the U.S. Despite the (purported) standard, I see many people approved for SSDI that were merely persistent long enough they finally get approved at the ALJ level.

So while you likely have a "disabling condition" apparently you are not totally disabled as illustrated by your use of a computer and phone as well as your governmental negotiations. I'm not belittling your situation in the slightest, but you apparently are far better off than many folks I would consider disabled and unable to work and I see a lot of them on a daily basis.

Kudos to you for not trying to take the easy way out-I see far too many of them on a daily basis as well. As an aside, both your and LO's observations regarding "functional whiners" are pretty accurate.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

That's a rather accepting view of the absolute power/control of a boss.

If somebody gets promoted because they're willing to do personal errands for their boss, even if that's inappropriate, then it's certainly a reward for "brown nosing".

In a reasonable world, people would get raises and promotions for doing their job well, not for doing personal errands for the boss, and never questioning them.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

"By the time he left office, Bush had squandered the surplus and nearly doubled the size of the debt, adding more to it than any president in US history."

That's complete BS. As I've demonstrated over and over again on this forum, the financial meltdown, prior to which our economy was in great shape on George W. Bush's watch despite the horrific effects of 9-11 and Katrina, was caused by grossly irresponsible mortgage lending practices put in place by Democrats.

One of those was Franklin Raines. Fannie Mae reached its heights during the time when Democrat and former Clinton administration budget director Franklin Raines was CEO. Under Raines' control, Fannie Mae overstated earnings by a massive $10.6 billion, all the while paying Raines and his senior management team staggering bonuses. It was under Raines' management that Fannie Mae morphed into the tail wagging the subprime dog. Raines got a sweetheart loan from Countrywide, as did Christopher Dodd. Raines ought to be in jail for what he did, as should Dodd and Barney Frank, and many others.

When Jimo has been punked, he resorts to calling people "morons." At least it's entertaining to watch him flounder.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 4 months ago

Since I was in the mortgage business from 1978 to 2009, I will correct your documentary above! The meltdown occurred not because Clinton and other dems wanted every one to own a home, it was the way Wall Street went about securitizing those loans and burrying the bad loan among the good. When the securities became worthless, because of the bad loans, it all collapsed into a heap. The loan officers that were churning out the bad loans were getting paid high commissions and sometime falsified their documentation. But they didn't care as long as the loan closed and funded so they could get paid. AND the problem wasn't just with subprime, it was in no-doc loans and credit score driven products. Then add to that the fact that everyone in the business from the real estate agent to the closing title company got paid only if the loan closed. If it didn't it was a waste of time. This, in and of its self, is one of the main problems and still is.

Even though this all happened during the BUSH administration, Bush had nothing to do with it but he and Obama bailed out the banks whose programs were suspect. They should have been allowed to go bankrupt and the US treasury would have been more solvent. But they bailed out the very companies who started the unfunded sales of derivitives that were based upon those bad loans we will call "air" and bad credit. Because they started to fall, the value of mortgaged homes began to fall and when the Adjustible Rate Mortgages needed to adjust, the value wasn't there.

You can blame the whole mess on incompetent and greedy loan officers who were mostly young men being pushed to "produce" at any cost. When the subprime loans started to be originated then sold, I was one of the many who were in the business who thought this was a bad idea and in the end, we were right.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 4 months ago

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not the problem, the loans were bad when they bought them, but they couldn't refuse them since they OK'd those types of mortgages in the first place. They were caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. And the owners and managers of the mortgage companies could have started to withhold business to them but still the whole mess would fail. Fannie and Freddie were trying to keep the mortgage world afloat but got caught in the middle.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Wounded_soldier, I don't disagree with some of what you say. You are correct that Bush had nothing to do with it. The fact is that no matter how the system was worked by those who stood to profit from it, including people like Franklin Raines, none of this ever would have happened without the enabling philosophy, which started with the CRA, that everyone should be able to get a mortgage loan whether he or she qualified or not. This morphed into mortgage loans, including second and third mortgage loans simply for lines of credit and for vacation homes, that were made based solely on the alleged value of the mortgaged real estate, not the ability to repay - a terrible practice that those of us who had weathered the S&L crisis thought could never be allowed to happen again.

The notion that "the value of real estate will never go down" is a preposterous one. Those in government charged with overseeing Freddie and Fannie were either on the take from them, had drunk the Kool-Aid regarding the immutability of real estate values, or were just stupid.

The botttom line is that without government policy that encouraged subprime lending, the meltdown would not have happened.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

The philosophy of the CRA was not as you state.

Why do you keep repeating that falsehood? Language in the very first section of it calls for loans made to be consistent with safe and sound operation of the banks.

Loans made to unqualified borrowers are not consistent with that, and so are not promoted by the Act.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, let me ask you this: Have you ever had any personal experience in the mortgage lending industry? I have. What's yours?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm not interested in your bullying personal intrusions.

I have shown you several times that the language of the CRA mandates consistency with safe and sound operations of the banks.

You continue to promote a falsehood that it encourages unsound lending practices.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

The language you've quoted has hardly been honored in the observance, and that's an understatement. That's why I was as entertained as I was at your citing it. Haven't you ever seen a piece of legislation that purports to do one thing but the politicians sponsoring it know full well is intended to do just the opposite? For example, do you know the stated purpose of the Dodd-Frank legislation, named after two of the biggest crooks personally responsible for the meltdown? Do you know what its real purpose is?

And jafs, what's "bullying" about simply asking you whether you've had any experience in the mortgage lending business? What's wrong with simply asking you that?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

If the law has been broken, that's not the fault of the law.

That seems self evident.

You don't blame laws about robbery if somebody commits a robbery, do you?

Do you think that laws outlawing robbery are really intended to encourage them?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

In this case, a law that purported not to condone theft wound up encouraging theft in spades, and you're paying for it (that is, if you actually pay income taxes, which I have for some time suspected does not apply to many of the leftist posters on this forum).

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Why is it that you have to resort to bullying and personal attacks?

Your logic is flawed - laws that outlaw robbery don't encourage it.

And a law that requires loans to be consistent with safe and sound operations of a bank isn't a law that's encouraging unsound loans.

It's interesting that when somebody who was in fact involved in the mortgage business contradicts your claims, you dismiss that as well.

So, the law doesn't support your view, and somebody who had plenty of experience in the business doesn't support your view.

I guess that just leaves you with personal attacks.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

No, jafs, the fact is that you have no personal knowledge or experience in this area, and it shows. You're very naive about this subject, and it hinders our having a meaningful discussion on it. That's not a "personal attack." It's simply a fact. I have nothing against you personally, and over time have even attempted to teach you a few things.

I wouldn't profess to know anything about the mating habits of Hottentots. If you do, I'll defer to you on that subject.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Bye.

The main thing I can gather from your posts is that you, and many others in the mortgage business violated the letter and spirit of the CRA.

For some reason, you want to blame that on the law, or politicians, or something other than yourselves and your colleagues.

And, you dismiss tbg's post as well, even though he apparently has plenty of experience with the mortgage business and the CRA.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, the point is you're naive if you think that the statutory language you've cited was ever seriously intended to be honored by those who pushed the CRA's enactment. The purpose of the CRA was to expand greatly the base of those "qualifying" for mortgage loans, and those administering it did just that by gradually lowering all standards relating to creditworthiness.

When the CRA was enacted in 1979, how much money did you have to put down to get a home mortgage loan anywhere in America? Do you know? How much did you have to put down in 2006, the year before the bubble? Do you know? In 2006 and 2007 both Dodd and Frank were asked repeatedly if Freddie and Fannie's mortgage loans were safe and sound, and both lied repeatedly that they were - even while many other Americans were finally beginning to wake up to the fact that real estate values weren't always going to go up.

I'll say it again: If you knew anything about how the legislative process works, you'd understand my position. You don't, and you won't.

thebigspoon 3 years, 4 months ago

I have, as a mortgage loan officer in the 80's, when the CRA was at its height, and I will tell you that, whenever the FDIC was in my bank auditing my loan portfolio, I was on pins and needles justifying some of my loans, so it was incumbent on me to protect my bank, and my ass, by having documentation that justified my making the loan according to prevailing laws. The CRA is a series of statutes that makes it clear to the public that the "minority" be given equal, not preferential, treatment under the law. If you have a different view of the CRA, then you don't understand just what you were representing, and may be a part of the problem. No person or entity ever received a mortgage or business loan from my bank who did not qualify, regardless of how they whined and begged, regardless of their ethnicity or color, and the board of directors of my bank was split between black and white members.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

There's always one exception to everything.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I've waited in vain for some evidence of your assertions.

Karl Rove's opinion doesn't count as evidence.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

You apparently haven't read what I posted earlier.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

On this thread?

You seem to confuse assertions/allegations with evidence.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Same problem.

If you were talking about your personal experiences, they would be interesting and relevant.

But instead you make sweeping generalizations and allegations without any evidence or proof, and then finally start challenging me personally when you can't provide any.

jonas_opines 3 years, 4 months ago

That's what Cato does. Then he'll start yelping about your spelling and grammar errors, then he'll start saying that you're an American-hating traitor.

It's all he's got. Don't expect any more.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Gosh dang it, jonas, you still can't get over the time you got royally punked after your claims that Red China is a great place to live were debunked by a poster who described what it was actually like to live there and proved that I was absolutely correct in everything I'd said about the Chicoms. Still a bit frustrated about that, are we?

usnsnp 3 years, 4 months ago

Read several comments, that if you wish to be promoted do not complain just do what the boss wants. That is a screwed up attitude, unless the person making the comment is the boss. You mean to tell me that if the boss tells you to do something, and it is wrong and going to cost the company money, you are not to say so because it might seem you are complaining. I spent a number of years in the military and it was my experience that if you saw something being done wrong, you better speak up, because if you dident it might cost people their lives. If you had a better way to do something ,it was your duty to tell the boss your idea.

Centerville 3 years, 4 months ago

Sebilius: "Appointed HHS secretary - A position of absolute power." Happily, that's not true - but it does seem hilarious to contemplate. Can you imagine the doozies that she'd come up with?

budwhysir 3 years, 4 months ago

As I have asked before, WHY did the chicken cross the road???

jayhawxrok 3 years, 4 months ago

woundedsoldier that's nonsense. CRA did not cause the meltdown. Greed did, along with a lack of regulation and an easing of the rules that made sure the banks didn't overextend themselves. Nice try but total bunk, dude.

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